"We are living through the biggest employment crisis in the last twenty years in Paraguay, characterized by thousands of layoffs in the private sector," said Working Class Confederation president Julio Lopez.
According to the Working-class Union Action, over 300,000 workers lost their jobs, and 110,000 were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has powerfully hit Paraguayan SMEs, where 70% of the layoffs in the formal sector are concentrated.
Protesters blamed the government for not respecting the labor code, allowing employers to violate their rights to form unions, to get social security, and collective labor contracts.
The unionists called President Mario Benitez Abdo's management of the pandemic "disorganized and with any positive effect in the health and labor spheres."
They also asked workers to be included in the slow vaccination campaign, which has only reached a part of the health workers and the elderly.
Workers' demands were supported by the largest political force of the Paraguayan left: the Frente Guasu, which declared that informality and job insecurity are the main problems of the country's working class.